Home Football News West Ham 0-6 Arsenal: Rice scores as Gunners rout sorry Hammers

West Ham 0-6 Arsenal: Rice scores as Gunners rout sorry Hammers

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Arsenal provided a further boost to their Premier League title hopes by crushing West Ham 6-0 at the London Stadium on Sunday, with Declan Rice among the scorers against his former club.

One week on from their crucial 3-1 win over Liverpool, Arsenal needed 32 minutes to take the lead, but once they did, the floodgates opened.

Former Hammers captain Rice found William Saliba with an inswinging corner for the opener, then Bukayo Saka won and converted a penalty nine minutes later, atoning for his costly miss on the same ground last April.

Another Rice set-piece created the third as Gabriel Magalhaes nodded in from close range, then Leandro Trossard’s curling effort put David Moyes’ shell-shocked team 4-0 down at the break.

Saka added a fifth as Arsenal refused to let up after the restart, then Rice bent a 25-yard effort beyond Alphonse Areola’s dive and was substituted to applause from his former fans.

The result moved Mikel Arteta’s Gunners back to within two points of the summit, while it will do nothing to quieten criticism of Moyes from some sections of the West Ham fanbase.

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Arsenal bossed the early exchanges and forced a stunning save from Areola after 23 minutes. Trossard watched Saka’s dinked cross onto his boot before firing off a ferocious volley, only for Areola to tip it over the crossbar in acrobatic fashion.

The Gunners’ superiority paid off nine minutes later as Areola failed to come for Rice’s deep corner from the left, giving Saliba a simple task to nod into an unguarded net at the far post.

Saka then missed two glaring chances to double Arsenal’s lead, heading Jakub Kiwior’s cross wide then sending a chipped finish beyond the far post after being played in by Martin Odegaard.

However, Saka atoned just moments later by winning and converting a penalty for Arsenal’s second goal, staying onside from Trossard’s pass before being clattered by Areola. The England winger dusted himself down before sending the Hammers goalkeeper the wrong way from 12 yards.

West Ham were all at sea in front of a restless home crowd, and Arsenal took full advantage with two more goals on the stroke of half-time. Gabriel nodded Rice’s left-wing free-kick in to make it 3-0, then Trossard took in Odegaard’s pass before bending a fine finish into the top-right corner.

Thousands of West Ham fans headed for the exits at the interval, and those who stuck around were not rewarded with an improved second-half performance.

Saka cut inside to reverse a shot into the bottom-right corner for Arsenal’s fifth, before Rice put his old team 6-0 down with his final touch before being substituted to warm applause, sending a dipping strike into the top-left corner.

Mohamed Elneny went close to a seventh as Arteta took the chance to rest several first-team regulars, but West Ham avoided further embarassment at a sparsely populated London Stadium.